Infant’s death prompts awareness for Safe Haven law - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Infant’s death prompts awareness for Safe Haven law

Posted: Updated:
(Toledo News Now) -

A local prosecutor is working to raise awareness about a law designed to prevent parents unable to care for their infant children from harming or abandoning the child.

It's called the Safe Haven law. In Ohio, parents can drop their newborn off at a hospital, police station, or fire station, and as long as there are no signs of abuse, the parents will face no legal consequences.

"No questions asked, no photograph, no description, no following, no police report," said Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates. "There is no reason in our state why an infant should ever end up in a freezer."

Bates was referring to this case, where an infant was found dead in a freezer. The mother has recently pleaded guilty to aggravated murder. It is because of this case that Bates is raising awareness of the Safe Haven law.

According to the law, a child dropped off at the hospital or with local authorities will be examined, placed in foster care, and, hopefully, adopted.

"[We want to] take that tragedy and turn it into something positive so this doesn't ever have to happen again," Bates said.

The program is for babies up to 30 days old. Officials say leaving medical records or health information with the infant is recommended, but not required.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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